SEATTLE – Seattle University men’s basketball closed out the Western Athletic Conference regular season in exciting fashion, defeating Grand Canyon, 83-76, in overtime. Four Redhawks scored in double-figures as they earned their first win over the Lopes since 2016.
With the win, the Redhawks (18-13, 6-10 WAC) secure the sixth seed in next week's WAC Tournament and will face the third-seeded GCU Lopes (18-12, 10-6 WAC) in the first round on Thursday, Mar. 14 at 8:30 p.m.
“To see my team rewarded with this, I’m just really happy for my team and my coaching staff,” said Head Coach Jim Hayford.
In the closing minutes of regulation, Means and Brown combined for an 8-0 SU run to put the Redhawks on top, 64-60 with 4:29 to play. Brown later drained two shots in traffic to maintain the SU lead, however a late Seattle U turnover proved to be costly as Carlos Johnson was fouled on the ensuing play, tying it up at 69-69 after converting both free throws.
The Redhawks stayed in the game through tough shot-making from Brown and the defense exhibited from Carter, Mattia Da Campo, and Riley Grigsby in the paint. Seattle U forced the Lopes into six second-half turnovers, 10 overall, giving Means and Brown scoring chances in transition.
“I tried emotion and I tried logic on our last time out,” said Hayford of coaching Brown down the stretch. “I knew we weren’t going to win this game unless we got Terrell going.”
After going 1-6 from the field in the first half, and picking up his fourth foul with 11:26 to play, Brown came alive. He would score 16 of his 21 points in the second frame, keying the late Redhawk run.
With 18 seconds to play in regulation and down by two following a pair Damari Milstead free throws, Means drove in the lane and floated a bank shot over his defender to make the game even, 71-71. A defensive stop on one last layup attempt yielded no reward for the Lopes, sending the Redhawks to their second overtime game in 36 hours.
SU entered overtime defensively stout and sharp at the free-throw line. Grigsby and Brown both converted and-one attempts on top of four free throws from Means to close the game out. Seattle U shot 8-8 at the charity stripe in overtime, 19-25 overall.
Rebounding and box-out play from Da Campo and Grigsby halted any attempt of a GCU offense in the extra period, sealing Seattle U’s fifth win in six games to end the regular season.
Carter went 3-4 from the field in the opening five minutes of the game, helping give the Redhawks an early 8-5 lead. Seattle U went on to lead 13-8 before hitting a cold spell from the field.
The Lopes went on a 13-4 run to take a 21-17 advantage midway through the frame. The would extend their lead to as many as 11, 32-21, with 6:25 remaining. But the Redhawks rallied, eventually tying the score at 35-35 with 2:15 on the clock. A 15-5 run, emphasized by a highlight-reel jam from Means, pull them within one, 38-37, at the break.
Seattle U started the second half with a defensive focus, shutting down Lever in the post and putting high pressure on the GCU guards. The Redhawks would retake the lead, 41-40 off of a contested jam from Carter and later regaining the advantage 46-45 off a three pointer from Jones with 14:41 on the buzzer.
The 2019 WAC Men's and Women's Basketball Tournaments will be held March 13-17 at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. For ticket information, contact the SU Athletics Ticket Office at 206-398-GOSU or goseattleu.com/tix.